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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

xiii                      THE TIGER AKD THE LEOPARD                     39
it will also voluntarily enter the water, and can swim conside
able rivers.
Mr. II. 2ST. IKidley1 observes that Tigers " habitually swii
over to Singapore across the Johore Strait, usually by way of tt
intermediate islands of Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. The
make the passage ;it night, landing in the early morning. As E
much of the coast is mangrove swamp, and the animals do nc
risk going through the mud, they are only able to cross whei
the shores are sandy, and thus they have regular starting- an
landing-places."
The Tiger is mainly nocturnal,, but begins its depredatior
towards five o'clock in the afternoon, before which it remair
sleeping in shady thickets. If the weather is rainy and wind
it becomes restless and wanders about earlier. Under the prove
cation of extreme hunger it will hunt during the daytim<
Hunger, too, naturally produces extreme boldness, Mr. Hidle
relates a story of four Tigers who walked up the steps of a hong
in search of the master of the house or his dog,, and broke int
it, the inhabitants retiring in their favour. The Malays ha\
superstitions about Tigers, which are precisely paralleled by tfc
man-and-wolf stories of Europe. f Certain people are suppose
to have the power of turning into tigers for a short time, an
resuming their human form at pleasure. The transformatio
commences tail first, and the human tiger is so complete!
changed that not only has it all the actions and appearance c
the tiger, hut on resuming its human form, it is quite unconscioi:
of what it has been doing in the tiger state." Mr. Ridley dii
putes the common stories as to man-eatera. If a Tiger has one
tasted human flesh it does not always confine itself afterwards t
that article of diet, nor is it only aged and comparatively toott
less animals which hunt man. That they do take a large toll c
coolies is an undoubted fact, and many are the artifices to preTer
the rest from knowing the fate of one of their fellow-workmen, c
of becoming acquainted with the presence in the neighbourhoo
of one of the dreaded beasts.
The Leopard or Panther, M pardns, is, like the Lion* Africa
and  Asiatic in  range.     The  animal  is  spotted with  rosettes c
black spots surrounding a central field of the tawny colour of fcfc
!>ody generally.     Some of the spots are solid and black.     ** Tt
* JVottcraZ Mtiem^ vL 1895, f*. 89.